Positioning and effectively communicating that position to your target market is vital to the success of your organization. To maximize your marketing dollars, here are a few questions you should be asking yourself…

What is your current position now?
How are you seen by the market now? Your management may think that you have the finest rooms in the city, but what is most important is if the market supports this view or not! Are you perceived as up market, luxurious and service oriented?

* Are you perceived as being expensive?
* Are you tired, out of date, rundown or are you considered state of the art and cutting edge?
* What are your customers’ views? What do they tell you in their feedback?
* How is your repeat business? What are the reasons for guests returning to your hotel?

What are your reasons for being here…

You are on a ‘soul searching’ mission and the management team needs to be honest with themselves! Here you need to conduct an evaluation of your product and the previous communication efforts that have been conducted! If the objective previously was to position as a luxurious, up market property and you had noisy rooms or slow elevators, then, you will need to address the deficiencies or your communication message this time.

Some other areas of research:

* What places you in this current position?
* Are you being perceived as too expensive?
* Honestly, where are you with your level of service? Do you have a concierge, bell staff and room service?
* What are your strengths and weaknesses?
* What are your common guest peeves?
* Who is your typical guest? Create a profile!

What could you realistically be?

This is a fundamental basic for creating a road map of your communications objectives. If your position is not what you have aimed for, where does the gap lie? If you want to be known for providing a very high level of service, is it realistically possible at your property? Do you have the right staff? And would you need to raise the prices of your rooms in order to be able to meet the costs involved in providing the high level of service that you perceive?

Additional factors that need your attention are…

* What position could you realistically achieve in the marketplace?
* Are you targeting the right markets?
* Can you increase benefits in specific areas to meet unmet desires and create new market segments?
* And the top of your agenda should include creative ways to steal from your competition!

And how can you be…what you want to be…

Based on your research conducted in the first three steps, you now know where you currently are and where you wish to be! Creative management minds should now get to work to determine what changes need to be made. There could be a variety of variables that warrant your attention…

* Product
* Target market
* Service standards
* Price
* Facilities upgrade
* Employees

The entire management team must feel very confident with all aspects of the product and firmly believe that it is positioned correctly. Only then can you begin the task of communicating this message to your selected target groups.

And are you on your way?

When you are traveling new paths it is always good to keep an eye on the map! Are you being perceived differently now than before? Have you indeed changed and what are your guests saying about you? Continuous monitoring will ensure you are making progress in the right direction!